ONE of the founding members of the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge (FONTB) has quit the group, citing disillusion about how the group is run and insufficient contact for members.
Anne Gatehouse, a former secretary, treasurer and chairwoman of the FONTB said that it was with deep regret that she had decided to resign from the group which she has volunteered with for more than decade since its inception in 1998.
Mrs Gatehouse, from Shaftesbury in Newport, said: "I am now very disillusioned about the way the organisation is being run and therefore after much deliberation I feel I cannot continue as a committee member."
Mrs Gatehouse, said: "The membership is slowly falling down and down, but why be in it if you don’t get anything? They use to get six newsletters a year at one point, but now they only have two and the first of those for this year only came out in August.
"They are more interested in looking after the visitor centre than looking after members. Without members, we are nothing. "
A one year’s UK membership to the FONTB costs £5, with an overseas membership costing £10, with Mrs Gatehouse stating that the group currently has around 400 members, around two thirds of whom do not live in Newport. She says between 2007-2009 the group were pushing to get to 1,000 members, but couldn't quite make it.
But David Hando, chairman of FONTB, said: "We are very sorry to have lost Anne, who did a lot of good work for Friends over a long period.
"The purpose of the Friends is to publicise the bridge and keep it in the public eye and we do that through having the visitor centre, which is open 7 days a week between 10-4 when volunteer numbers allow.
"I think it is a bit unfair to call it a newsletter, they receive a copy of "vision" which is more of a, with photographs and articles etc. Obviously it would be nice to do more but we can only do what people are willing to contribute.
"I think some of things we have chosen to do, haven’t been the way Anne would have done things, but we are sorry she has resigned and we are proposing to make her a Vice President of FONTB for her service."